3

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles
So how does trumpeter Miles Davis' post-1969 "electric period" translate to a big-band format? About as well as could be expected, thanks to leader Charles Pillow's bright arrangements for his New York-based Large Ensemble. Davis' seminal Columbia albums from 1969-1972—In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Live at Fillmore East, Live-Evil, On the Corner—are considered by many to have ushered in the jazz / rock / fusion era, which could be a good thing or otherwise, depending on one's point of view.

While opinions may vary as to the course Davis and others chose to pursue, it's clear he was into something new, much as Parker, Gillespie and their peers were a quarter-century or more before with the introduction of bebop, which turned the jazz world on its head. Davis was an integral part of that movement as well but chose to veer elsewhere, carving a new niche for himself and fellow-travelers such as Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul and others, one that may not have pleased many of those steeped in more customary forms of jazz but at the same time drew a fresh audience to the music. Shorter and Zawinul are represented here, Shorter via his composition "Sanctuary," Zawinul by three others: "Pharaoh's Dance," "In a Silent Way" and "Directions." Also on hand is saxophonist David Liebman whose burnished soprano saxophone is heard on "Black Satin," as it was on the original recording of On the Corner, and on Davis' "Yesternow."

Trumpeters Tim Hagans and Clay Jenkins take turns sitting in for Davis, with other solos by Pillow (alto sax, alto flute), trombonist Michael Davis and tenor Luke Norris. The ensemble, it should be noted, is sharp and steady with drummer Jared Schonig underscoring the rhythm in the best Tony Williams / Jack DeJohnette tradition and everyone else in a harmonious groove, bringing out the best in Pillow's meticulous charts. Fans of Davis—especially those who dug his music from the '70s onward—should find much to absorb and appreciate in Electric Miles.

Track Listing

Pharoah’s Dance; Bitches Brew; Black Satin; In A Silent Way; Directions; Sanctuary; Yesternow; Spanish Key.

Personnel

Charles Pillow: arranger, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, alto flute; Colin Gordon: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Luke Norris: tenor saxophone, clarinet; CJ Ziarniak: tenor saxophone; Karl Stabnau: bass clarinet; Michael Davis: trombone; Abe Nouri: trombone; Jack Courtright: trombone; Gabe Ramos: bass trombone; Tony Kadleck lead trumpet; Charlie Carr: trumpet; Clay Jenkins: trumpet; Tim Hagans: trumpet; Julian Garvue: electric piano; Chuck Bergeron: electric bass; Mike Forfia: acoustic bass (4, 6); Jared Schonig: drums; David Liebman: soprano saxophone (3, 7).

Album information

Title: Electric Miles | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: MAMA Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park
Jerry Cook Quartet +
Read New Aurora
New Aurora
Michael Sarian
Read Unnavigable Tributaries
Unnavigable Tributaries
Vicente / Brice / Sanders
Read How To turn the Moon
How To turn the Moon
Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell
Read The Path
The Path
Chien Chien Lu
Read Golden Daffodil
Golden Daffodil
Leslie Beukelman
Read Message from Groove and GW
Message from Groove and GW
The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band
Read Duos & Trios
Duos & Trios
Armaroli - Schiaffini - Sjostrom

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.